Mindless Self Indulgence, The Blackout, Cerebral Ballzy Live @ Billboard, Melbourne, Australia

“The bass, the mic, the rock, the treble, I like my coffee black just like my metal” is the opening line of ‘Shut Me Up’, the fun and catchy crowd pleaser that Mindless Self Indulence (or MSI for short) opened the show with.

While there was definitely bass, mic, rock and treble present, MSI are certainly not Black Metal despite that being the way that they like their Metal.

If you’ve never had the aural pleasure of hearing MSI before, let me describe their distinctive and unusual style for you.  Oh wait, that’s right, I can’t.  They describe themselves as “NYC’s first industrial, jungle, rock, punk, techno freaks” which is actually a fairly apt description, despite the fact that it makes very little sense.

MSI play an eclectic and unique brand of upbeat electro-punk-rock that is just plain old fun and then chuck that into a live setting and you’ve got yourself one hell of a good time.  Whatever it is that MSI are doing, they’re certainly doing it right.  You only have to look at the list of chart positions they’ve reached on various Billboard charts over the years including a heap of number ones in the dance singles chart and a very respectable number 27 in the Billboard 200 in 2008.

When listening to a recording of MSI you’re aware of the electronic elements and you just don’t realise how much of their music is actually played by musicians with real instruments until you see them play live.  Seeing MSI play using a simple, stripped down drum kit that is so far from the Nicko McBrain or Neal Peart kind of kits we, as metal fans are used to, just adds a unusually interesting element to their live show

In addition to ‘Shut Me Up’, MSI played fan favourites ‘Stupid MF’, ‘1989’, ‘Straight to Video’ and ‘Faggot’.  Front-man Jimmy Urine, with an energetic magnetism and offensive yet thoroughly enjoyable manner, whipped the crowd into a frenzy while bassist, Lyn-Z, dropped the boys’ jaws by bending over backwards, literally.

Opening for MSI were Cerebral Ballzy – a New York punk band with a great, albeit potentially offensive, pun name –  and despite the fact that their performance was good, they weren’t really right for the bill and this was evident from the audience’s lack of enthusiasm, which was clearly reserved for MSI.  The meat in the Cerebral Ballzy and MSI sandwich was Welsh hardcore band the Blackout, self-described as “pop-bruisers”, who, through catchy songs, crowd participation and  humourous and outrageously charismatic singer, Sean Smith, the band really got the crowd warmed up during their set and their performance far surpassed my expectations.

Whether MSI sound like your cup of tea or not, check them out at Soundwave if you get a chance because, at the very least, they will hype you up enough to save you from having to get a personal loan to buy an energy drink to get you through the rest of the day.

Photos by Amanda Mason

Written by Amanda

Amanda is a lawyer at Media Arts Lawyers, a boutique music and entertainment industry, intellectual property and commercial law firm. To arrange a consultation with Amanda, please visit http://www.mediaartslawyers.com/.

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